I’ve been a bit MIA here as of late. The whole COVID-19 situation has thrown a spanner in my daily routines and I’ve had to take a bit of a step back just to recoup some sanity. It’s been a mentally exhausting few weeks, and goddamnit I said I’d try and do some writing in whatever down time I had. Truthfully, I have not written a single article/story/poem. The best I’ve done is jot down a poetic mic-drop in my Notes, to pre-empt brilliance whenever I feel motivated, as my wife stocked up on some goods from the bottle shop. Priorities, fam.
I’ve worked from home this week, and while I bathed in the luxuries of having my own espresso on tap and my very own toilet at my disposal, I enjoyed the constant loop of music beaming from my speaker. My artist of choice: DIIV. Their droning distorted guitars blend from one song to the next, my mind enveloped in their shoegazed world; giving me tunnel vision on my work at hand – funnily enough. I escape for breath as a memorable vocal melody or blissfully melancholic riff enters the fold, which is more often than not for DIIV. Like on their early single Dopamine, or my favourite track off their 2019 album, Horsehead – both included in the playlist below. Starkly different in tone, Dopamine’s indie rock drive punches from one verse to the next, while Horsehead’s strength is in its grungy drone and bleak landscape. DIIV have been the soundtrack to my isolation.
I’m enjoying the slew of music that’s been released within this worldwide quarantine. And while I realise many tracks and albums were in the works before COVID, Iceage has come through with a timely summary of our situation. Lockdown Blues has become my anthem for the first half of 2020, and probably will go into my top singles of the year. Charli XCX released a new track today that she has finished off in isolation. It’s alright, I listened to it at 8am this morning and it might be a bit too much for my early-morning-mind. Frankie Teardrop Hate, a band I’ve plugged a few times in my weekly playlists, has come through with a new single Love and Hate. It’s a perfect mix of blissful acoustic strums and psych-distortion, while the airy vocal refrain in the verse begs to be chanted back. Love and Hate once again showcases the solid song writing coming from one of the UK’s best kept secrets. I’m excited to hear another album, even more excited if they announce some Australian shows after the world settles down a bit.
Lastly, I want to mention the new Strokes record, released today. I’ve listened to half this morning, so once again, take my opinion with a grain of salt. The album opens strong with The Adults Are Talking; Julian Casablancas has a much more subdue approach to his vocals, at least in the verse. His annunciation bounces on every syllable, adding some soulful falsetto refrains towards the end of the song. The riffs are nothing new to Strokes fans, but it’s Casablancas’ mature approach to his vocals that make it stand out as an opener. And then all that goes out the window as the album progresses. I only made it halfway before shutting it off, the charm of Casablancas vocals wears thin as he falls back into the common tropes the band set for themselves twenty years ago.
Oh, I’ve also binged a shit load of Twin Peaks, I’m back up to Season 3, which I haven’t seen since it’s 2017 release. This isolation shit has toyed with my mind enough for me to once again crave some David Lynch. I’ve included a solid tune from Fire Walk With Me in the playlist below.
Playlist of the Week
- Dopamine – DIIV
- Horsehead – DIIV
- The Pink Room – Angelo Badalamenti
- Lockdown Blues – Iceage
- Sacred Safe – Quelle Chris
- Innerstellar Love – Thundercat
- She’s There – Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
- Media Side – MICH
- Love and Hate – Frankie Teardrop Dead
- The Adults Are Talking – The Strokes